Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 27, 2017 is: fester \FESS-ter\ verb 1 : to generate pus 2 : [putrefy](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/putrefy), [rot](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rot) 3 a : to cause increasing poisoning, irritation, or bitterness : [rankle](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rankle) b : to undergo or exist in a state of progressive deterioration Examples: "For more than a generation, instead of forging a path to reconciliation, we have allowed the wounds the war inflicted on our nation, our politics and our families to fester." — Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, The New York Times, 29 May 2017 "Tunisians have made tremendous progress. Yet their experiment is teetering on the brink. The economy is stuck in the doldrums. Poverty and corruption fester." — Christian Caryl, The Washington Post, 26 May 2017 Did you know? [Fester](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fester) entered English in the 14th century. It was used as we now use the word [fistula](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fistula) for an abnormal passage leading from an [abscess](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abscess) or hollow organ and permitting passage of fluids or secretions. It was also applied as a word for a sore that discharges pus. The connection between fester and fistula is no accident—both descend from Latin fistula, which has the same meaning as the English word but can also mean "pipe" or "tube" or "a kind of ulcer." Fester made the trip from Latin to English by way of Anglo-French. The word's use as a verb meaning "to generate pus" has also developed extended senses implying a worsening state.